The causes of sleep problems include depression, anxiety, shift work, babies' and toddlers' awakenings, restless leg syndrome and inflammation and pain. Also immune boosting therapies (interferon drugs, a class of cytokines) in treatment of cancer, hepatitis, etc.
Cytokines are proteins that respond to body infections. Cytokines trigger: an increase in temperature to fever, swelling and increase in blood flow to area of infection.
Cytokines reduce levels of serotonin and thus cause:
Chronic inflammation from irritations, sinus infection, constipation, air pollution, mercury leaks from teeth, chlorinated or contaminated drinking water, household chemicals, pesticides and workplace toxins, will increase cytokines and lower serotonin, this can cause depression and loss of nighttime sleep.
To lower these effects consume anti-inflammatory foods and follow Hippocrates' rule,
"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."
Anti-inflammatory foods are the Omega-3's: flax, fish and chia seed and fish oil capsules. Add to those fruits and vegetables, green tea, pineapple (bromelain) and herbs, ginger, rosemary, cur cumin (in turmeric), boswellia an others.
Stress unresolved unrelenting keeps cytokine levels up and causes depression. To relieve stress and release cytokines, exercise. Exercises elevates mood by increasing serotonin.
Depression is more common today than ever and stress levels are rising. This is partly due to the change in nutrition from the Omega-3's which are anti-inflammatory to the common Omega 6's in mass produced foods which are pro-inflammatory.
So eating more anti-inflammatory foods and reducing or eliminating highly processed foods.... will help you sleep.
The amino acid tryptophan is used by the body to produce serotonin and serotonin plus dark produces melatonin and melatonin regulates sleep. To get more tryptophan to enter brain add a fast digesting carb (honey, mashed potatoes) to protein in supper to stimulate the release of insulin that allows ryptophan to enter brain. Examples of this are: turkey and potatoes, warm milk and honey (heat enhances tryptophan effect of foods), turkey on whole grain bread, a banana, a handful of nuts, or a slice of cheese.
Oatmeal, whole grain cereals and breads complex carbs increase production of serotonin.